Ocean Career: Ocean Associates Inc. Acoustics Modeling, Measuring, Monitoring

Ocean Associates, Inc. (OAI) is seeking a candidate to support the NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Office of Protected Resources (OPR) in Silver Spring MD. OAI supplies personnel support services on contract to government and industry clients for marine fisheries and protected species. The employee will support the OPR in providing expertise for the review of acoustic modeling measuring, and monitoring products in support of Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) Incidental Authorizations. This is a full-time position based on 40 hrs/week with generous employee benefits. Hourly rate is commensurate with experience.


  • Provide support to facilitate the more timely, efficient, and effective review of acoustic modeling and monitoring products submitted in support of MMPA ITAs for FAST-41 projects (e.g., offshore wind and infrastructure), as well as ensure scientifically robust and legally defensible environmental compliance, the position requires detailed understanding of the properties of human-made underwater sound sources, how their signals propagate in the environment (e.g., based on water depth, substrate, temperature), and the mathematical principles underlying how these source and environmental properties inform transmission loss and sound propagation from specific activities (e.g., pile driving, geophysical sources, explosives).
  • Review, evaluate, and compare acoustic source, sound propagation, and exposure models as necessary to support MMPA ITAs, including consideration of the appropriateness and sensitivity of inputs, descriptions of uncertainty, and accuracy of the results. Make recommendations for improvements to better integrate with, and serve the goals of, marine mammal and other protected species impact assessment frameworks, including optimizing output metrics and results presentation (e.g., graphics and figures).
  • Review, evaluate and develop plans for acoustic monitoring and measurement of sound sources, ambient noise, and marine mammals. Make recommendations to improve plans and field measurement, including consideration of spatial, temporal, and spectral aspects, such as the placement and timing of recorders, platforms, and recording equipment specifications (e.g., sampling frequency, hydrophone sensitivity). Explicitly describe differences between varied monitoring and measurement approaches in terms of anticipated accuracy, precision, and uncertainty.
  • Review and evaluates submitted acoustic monitoring reports for the same factors noted in the second and third bullets above.
  • Support the development and implementation of technical guidance, methods, and analytical tools, for both internal and/or external use, to better assess and minimize the impacts of noise on protected species and their habitat (e.g., helping to establish sound field verification (SFV) guidelines).


  • Master’s Degree or higher in a physical science (e.g., acoustics, physics, engineering, oceanography, and three years of relevant experience or Ph.D. and one year of relevant experience.
  • Experience working with data using a variety of tools such as excel, R, python and Matlab.
  • Experience performing calibrated acoustic measurements (ideally underwater); collecting data, performing analysis, and quantifying uncertainty.
  • Experience in the use of acoustic propagation laws (e.g., spherical, practical, or cylindrical spreading) to estimate acoustic levels as function of range.
  • Experience in the modeling of acoustic fields or of sound sources.
  • General understanding of basic statistics.
  • Experience using any software to generate maps or work with geospatial data.

Location: Work may be performed offsite

Salary and Benefits: Full-time position with benefits. $34.00 to $38.00 per hour.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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